Purple has strong associations with royalty and power, because it was quite a rare color once upon a time. As psychic and author of Simply Color Therapy, Nina Ashby, tells mindbodygreen, it was a sought after color for the royal class as early as 1500 B.C., because it was expensive to make purple dye. So not only was it a status symbol to wear purple, but those in lower classes could rarely afford it.
Ashby explains that from the Byzantine Empire, to the Greek and Roman empires, to ancient China, purple mainly meant extravagance, but also spiritual wisdom, with priests and bishops donning purple robes and sashes. And in those days, royal people were regarded as “divinely appointed,” so royalty and spiritual wisdom were often considered synonymous.
Nowadays, those associations have stuck around, particularly with regard to spirituality. As Ashby notes, purple combines blue and red, with red being the lowest vibrational energy in the color spectrum, and purple and blue being the highest. “So combine them together and you get violet, which combines the highest and the lowest energy, and violet is the color of the power of heaven over Earth,” she explains.
Purple is also related to the crown chakra and intuition, or what Ashby calls the “repository of your potential manifestations.” Through the crown, we’re able to make manifest anything we’re holding in that space, she notes.
And in terms of purple’s psychological effects, she adds, it’s a tranquilizing and hypnotic color that can help you access higher states of consciousness.
In general, research tends to support that appreciation for the color purple is high, with one study1 finding purple, red-purple, and purple-blue were regarded as the most “pleasant hues” by participants. In another study on the effects of colors in marketing, researchers even found that when they sent out various surveys with different colored backgrounds, purple surveys were the most widely completed compared to blue, green, and red.
“Perhaps a combination of perceptual and emotional factors was at play, given that purple has strong association with both royalty and a market leading brand of chocolate,” the study authors note in their research.